Founder of Eco Strategies Group Andrea Ruiz-Hays Named 2020 Lees-McRae College Commencement Speaker

Published Friday, February 7, 2020 at 10:09 am

Andrea Ruiz-Hays, founder of Eco Strategies Group, will address graduates during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9.

Ruiz-Hays’ sustainability firm provides consulting and training for businesses that desire to implement more sustainable strategies. Her clients include corporations, businesses, government entities, hotels, food and beverage companies, retail locations, stadiums, hospitals, K-12 schools, colleges, universities, as well as private residences.

Bringing more than 28 years of experience in the hospitality industry to her consulting firm, Ruiz-Hays “combines her unique skill set, experience, and her passion for conserving the planet’s natural resources by educating others on how to be excellent environmental stewards,” according to her website.

Specifically, Ruiz-Hays gained 20 years of executive leadership experience with the Walt Disney World Resort.

“While at Disney, Ruiz-Hays led multi-million-dollar organizational programs, employee engagement, resiliency planning, and sustainability integration,” according to her website. “During this time Ruiz-Hays led the Green Lodging designation for all Disney resort hotels through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Additionally, she and her team led the revitalization of the recycling program for all 80,000 employees and millions of annual visitors. In 2016, she received her Zero Waste Associate certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Association and recently was certified as a Climate Reality Leader with Climate Reality Leader Corps. Ruiz-Hays currently serves as the Director of Outreach and Engagement for Climate Reality Leaders—Central Florida chapter.”

Ruiz-Hays also served as the Director of Strategic Alliances with Recycle Across America leading the organization’s national outreach program. There, she worked with leaders from both private and public sectors throughout the country to implement recycling solutions, resulting in the diverging of thousands of tons of recyclable material from landfills or incineration.

This year’s Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m. on Tate Lawn. For more information, visit lmc.edu/commencement.

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